The Patent Information Centre-Kerala (PIC-K), an initiative of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), has drawn up an ambitious programme aimed to broad base IP (Intellectual Property) literacy in Kerala and maximize the number of patents filed by universities, research institutions, grassroots innovators, educational institutions and individuals.
PIC-K is evolving a package of sensitization, training programme, workshops, exhibitions and awareness classes at different levels. One of the highlights of this package is a school-level project to promote the spirit of innovation in students. Similar projects are to be organized in technical schools, diploma colleges and engineering institutions.
The centre has proposed the establishment of an IP (Intellectual Property) Literacy Mission. It has also mooted the idea of a model district for implementation of the pilot project for 100 per cent IP literacy.
“Though Kerala can boast of many educational and research institutions, it lags behind other states in the number of patent applications filed. Hardly 3500 applications were filed from Kerala last year against 40,000 patents filed in India,” said Dr.V.Ajit Prabhu, Joint Director, KSCSTE, who heads the centre.
Attributing this scenario to lack of awreness on IPR, Dr. Prabhu said, “Our ultimate objective is to transform Kerala into the first IP (Intellectual Property) literate state in India and maximize the number of patent applications filed by institutions and individuals.”
PIC-K has organized over 100 seminars on IPR awareness throughout the state over the last three years. It has also organized workshops and other training programmes in schools, colleges, industries, government departments, research institutions and for the general public.
Set up in 2003, the centre facilitates the filing of patents from Kerala by providing technical assistance for filing applications and database search free of cost.
The series of awareness programmes organized by PIC-K has resulted in a gradual increase 56 in 2010, in comparison with seven applications in 2004. As many as 39 applications were received upto June, 2011.
Individuals have responded best to the PIC-K initiatives, filing 93 applications. Grassroots innovators have filed 55, educational institutions, 31 and research institutions, 24. However, only 13 applications were filed by universities.
Apart from patents, the centre has also filed 21 trademarks, three designs, five copyrights and was involved in the registration of five geographical indications.